BRITAIN’s oldest extra has died, aged 100.
Former Altrincham resident Lottie Goodwin was still appearing as an extra in Emmerdale when she was 99, until she finally retired in April 2011.
She was less than two months from her 101st birthday.
She appeared as a face in the crowd hundreds of times, with walk-on parts in Coronation Street for 30 years, as well as roles in Brookside and Hollyoaks, as well as Brideshead Revisited, Lost Empires, Jewel in the Crown, Raffles, International Velvet and Northern Lights.
Lottie, who had 13 great-grandchildren, died at the Morris Feinmann Home in Didsbury, Manchester. Her funeral was on November 9 at Southern Cemetery, Manchester.
She was already 60 – and claiming her old age pension - when she first auditioned for a part in the Emmerdale.
Lottie, who was widowed 16 years ago, lived alone until two years ago, She could be on set from 7.30am until 8pm. She would appear in three or more scenes a day – as a customer at the Woolpack Inn or Cafe Hope.
Emmerdale star Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard, made her 100th birthday ‘extra’ special, when he was a surprise guest at her party.
Chris said at the party: "Lottie is just one of those people that you feel drawn to. Walk-ons are on their feet all the time and Lottie only left Emmerdale eight months ago. That shows the measure of the woman. She is a joy, always upbeat and never complains."
More than 50 guests travelled from far and wide to join the celebrations at Morris Feinmann Home, including Lottie’s 13 great-grandchildren, daughter Rita Cohen, who lives in Spain, and one granddaughter who travelled from her home in Canada to attend the party.
Rita Cohen said at the time: “My mother was over the moon when Chris turned up. We’re all very excited about her big birthday and appreciate the great lengths that everyone at Morris Feinmann Home has gone to, ensuring the party was unforgettable.”
Alan Wilkins of the care home, said: “Everyone at the home thoroughly enjoyed helping Lottie celebrate her 100th birthday in style. We’re extremely pleased that Chris came along to surprise Lottie to make the day really special.”
In a 2010 interview Lottie said: “I love the job and I want to go on forever. They say I’m the oldest extra in England, there’s nobody else of my age still doing TV. My friends call me Wonder Woman and my daughters ask why I still do it, but I just love the job.
“I’d love to go on till I’m 100, as long as they still want me. I’ll go on as long as I can. At the moment I’m perfectly healthy, touch wood, and I can see no reason to stop. The cast are great, the atmosphere’s really nice.”
Lottie appeared in hundreds of episodes, even though viewers may only have caught a fleeting glimpse.
Her one concession to advancing years was to stick to indoor scenes, rather than filming on location in the Emmerdale village.
“Sometimes I get a slice of lemon, but they don’t put gin in it, or I’d be on the floor. Sometimes when I do a scene in the cafe they‘ll give me an éclair or a scone. Once they came to the take and I’d eaten it already so they had to get me another.
“I have to bring my own clothes, plus a couple of changes, which the wardrobe people have to approve, and I do my own make-up before I leave home.
“I get on well with all the principal actors, and there’s a real camaraderie among the extras. We get to know each other, there’s a lot of time hanging around. But I never get bored.
“I always assume people don’t see me because they are watching the main characters, but I still get people stopping me, and sometimes they even ask for my autograph.
“I don’t look after myself, but I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve never taken a vitamin pill in my life, I love cream, cake and chocolate, I don’t like vegetables and I’m not a lover of fruit. I love life and I think that’s what keeps me young.”